Announcing 2018 Cities of Peace
PRISTINA Laboratory
Prishtinë/Priština, Kosovo
April 15, 2018 - June 19, 2018

pristina image resized copy.jpg

Pristina: The Flowering celebrates 8,000 years of vivid cultural history.  Created with participation by students, artists, and scholars from all ethnicities and 38 municipalities, Pristina: The Flowering interweaves with the finest golden lines of filigree the past, present and future of this young and flowering city. Words and phrases of significance, in many languages, follow the roads of the city map as they move through time and space.  Gracing the greens of the city’s many parks are archaeological symbols, illuminating the sun of the Dardanians, the Smira labyrinth with its cycle of birth, death and rebirth, marking the underworld, this world and the world beyond; spirals, musical instruments and song accompany the patterned designs drawn upon the bright faces of young brides.

We rejoice that, through art, the world will know this city, a place of life. May peace continue and freedom flourish!

The Story of CIties of Peace Prinstina

Dr. Ellen Frank has completed the newest Cities of Peace project: Pristina: The Flowering, in Prishtinë/Priština, Kosovo. See the team's progress on FaceBook!

Our Prishtinë/Priština Partners include: Cultural Heritage without Borders, The University of Pristina, The Museum of Kosovo, The Library of Kosovo

DONATE to the Pristina laboratory- your gift helps tremendously, and will help fund the educational and artistic projects in Pristina and beyond. 

The consortium jointly issued an open call for participants including students, artists and scholars. We also worked with the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, and the US Embassy to build international symposium, panels, and create digital engagement with the Kosovar diaspora. We have completed our Peace Education Curriculum which will be adapted for Kosovo as we engage in this project. The completed curriculum will then be replicable after Cities of Peace departs Kosovo and will provide a structure to continue Cities of Peace work by Kosovar Educators. The Curriculum also includes the training in the art of Gold Leaf Illumination.

As evidence of the impact of Cities of Peace cultural diplomacy, former interns from Armenia traveled to Kosovo to participate in the training of new Cities of Peace leaders. Our consistent messaging included international press and social media provided by all institutions in the Consortium. The National Museum of Kosovo created a documentary film in Albanian, with English subtitles.

The grand unveiling of our eleventh Cities of Peace painting was on June 12th at the National Museum of Kosovo.

The Cities of Peace Prishtinë/Priština Laboratory works to reduce the risk of extremism by engaging marginalized young people in creative, interactive art-making that validates and strengthens community cohesion and promotes visual and historical literacy.

We are honored to have received a grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation to help jump start this project. This endowment is being used to support development of curriculum and evaluation tools; secure studio laboratory space equipped with artistic supplies, tools, materials; counter-messaging and development of the Cities of Peace Prishtinë/Priština Laboratory into a self-sustaining program that continues in Kosovo and is then replicated in the Balkans, the Middle East and throughout the world. Key to achieving this is training educators in our peace building techniques; documenting, disseminating and archiving creative learning tools that incorporate digital media and distance learning.

The Cities of Peace Pristina Laboratory achieves conflict transformation by:

  • Convening young people from different ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds to collaboratively explore, reflect on, and build a shared artistic vision of their urban environment.  

  • Enabling youth to express their stories, experiences, and perspectives through artistic engagement

  • Teaching non-violent communication, cultural diplomacy, critical thinking strategies, compassion and principles of non-authoritarian agreement

  • Challenging participants' stereotypes and preconceptions about "self" and "other" through experiential, collaborative, arts-based peace education.

  • Empowering educators and community leaders with skills in peacebuilding, research, and artistic collaboration-- reducing helplessness and promoting civic and cultural engagement.

  • Providing a global context in which to understand their own actions, lives, communities, and futures.

The Cities of Peace Pristina Laboratory will contribute to local urban sustainability and conservation, enrich the city's creative capital, and support human development and stability.

The Pristina Laboratory is housed at The Museum of Kosovo and Pristina University. We are looking to build partnerships with existing Kosovo NGO's, educational centers and community projects as well as international organizations.

 About the Robert F. Schumann Foundation

The Robert F. Schumann Foundation was created by Robert F. Schumann, a Madison, Connecticut resident who died in 2011.  Robert Schumann’s sons, Ford Schumann and David Schumann, are the Foundation Advisors.  Wells Fargo Bank and Attorney Timothy Crowley are co-Trustees of the Foundation.  The Foundation supports the arts, social and environmental causes.

The Cities of Peace Pristina Laboratory is among the first Challenge Grants ever awarded by the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.



“Every day the world throws reasons to despair at us. Cities of Peace does more than keep hope alive.  By preserving and highlighting the rich cultural heritage of our cities and through its peace curriculum, it equips us with the resilience to resist hate and to fight for what is the best in us.”  Fred Mandell, CEO and Founder, The Global Institute for Arts and Leadership

in the Pristina studio

Interns at work in the Pristina studio

designing the painting

Creating the Prishtinë/Priština painting!

Interns and Artists for Pristina:
Ani Tarjumanyan (Armenia)
Students in Kosovo:
Egzon Boshrtakaj
Zgjim Zyba
Arjana Suka
Rilind Sadiku
Dardan Sopa
Ardita Krasniqe
Laureta Hajrullahu
Granit Kutllovci
Berat Bajram
Djellza Hafizi
Ari Zharku
Shkamb Jaka
Katarina Palushaj
Urta (Urtesë) Zeneli
Era Qena
Artist: Yll Xhaferi


Abigail Disney says about Cities of Peace: “My friend Ellen Frank is doing wonderful peace work in many places. As the founder and artistic director of Cities of Peace, she continues the legacy of her own mother's courageous work to bring UNESCO into the Los Angeles public schools in the 1950’s: ‘only with universal, international understanding can there be any hope for an enduring world of peace." Cities of Peace affirms understanding as the prerequisite to peace.

“In my more than 40 years of working for international and interreligious peace I have never seen anything as powerful, healing and promising as Cities of Peace.” Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Center for Interreligious Understanding, upon inviting Cities of Peace to Kosovo.